Servicemembers found violating Covid directives to face court martial

From left, Public Health Director Linda Unpingco-DeNorcey, Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero, JRM Commander Rear Adm. John Menoni and 36th Wing Commander Brig. Gen. Gentry Boswell

Service members found to have violated public health emergency protocols will face court martial, military officials said Monday as they announced an ongoing investigation into the spread of Covid-19 at Andersen Air Force Base.

“Preliminary evidence and public health investigation revealed the possibility that some of these service members did not adhere to the Andersen Air Force Base and local public health directives,” said Brig. Gen. Gentry W. Boswell, commander of the 36th Wing.

As of June 22, Guam has 222 confirmed cases of Covid-19, with five deaths, 173 released from isolation and 44 active cases. Of the total number, 180 are classified as civilians and 42 are military service members—35 of whom have been recently identified among a unit deployed to AAFB.

“I have initiated an investigation into this matter to determine the fact," Boswell said at Monday’s press conference. “If the ensuing investigation determines that these service members did not follow these directives, I can assure you that they will be held accountable for their actions under Uniform Code of Military Justice.”

Boswell said 100 percent of the unit have been tested and those who were initially billeted at Guam Reef Hotel in Tumon have been moved into immediate medical quarantine. “They are being monitored routinely and are in stable condition with no medical complications,” the 36th Wing commander added.

Boswell said it was unclear whether the infected service members contracted Covid-19 on Guam or prior to their arrival on island.